Inspired by agricultural buildings, modern barn houses re-imagine the rustic design in vastly different ways. Although they reference the same simple silhouette of barns and their material palette, these dwellings look diverse and distinctive. That’s because talented architects reinterpret the barn archetype in creative ways. On this page, you can discover the array of designs that follow the barn house typology. From renovation projects to new builds, these modern barn houses blend tradition and contemporary design. Furthermore, they’re a great example of how an inventive approach to architecture can become inspiring.
Modern barn houses include careful restorations of 19th-century buildings and renovations of old agricultural structures. These projects celebrate the past but also modernize interiors for comfortable living. Other projects reference vernacular architecture in a contemporary form. Stone houses in the Italian countryside, wood clad buildings with glazed facades, and houses with fenestration that re-imagines traditional shutters all fall in this category.
Nestled in pastoral settings, modern barn dwellings and weekend retreats look at home in natural landscapes thanks to their simple, honest design. Natural materials reinforce this further. Apart from wood cladding or exposed brick walls, many houses also feature Corten steel or natural stone exteriors. The traditional Japanese shou sugi ban technique provides a great way to protect wood boards while giving barn houses a modern look. Other features may include asymmetrical roofs and fenestration, skylights, and irregular openings that frame the views and also optimize ventilation. Whether designed with one, two, or three stories, these barn-like dwellings sit lightly on the land they call home. Apart from thoughtful designs that respect the local context, they also feature sustainable materials along with eco-friendly heating and cooling systems.